Delaware Hunting: Your Step-by-Step Guide To the Laws, Regulations, Licenses, Seasons ... And More!

Delaware is the second smallest state in the USA, but it still provides ample hunting opportunities for hunters. It is more popular for deer hunting than any other game and wildlife, and it holds an all-time record for most deer taken in the US.

Delaware Hunting Regulation

Hunting is well regulated in Delaware. The state has strict laws to protect the harvesting of games and wildlife. If you want to hunt in Delaware, it is important that you understand all requirements and restrictions provided by the state Fish and Wildlife division.

Some of Delaware hunting regulations include the following:

General Hunting Regulations

  • Delaware Sunday hunting is not allowed. Exceptions are made for commercial red fox shooting during the fox season. Also, undecided legislation permits deer hunting on Sunday during deer seasons. But it is good to confirm this with the wildlife division first.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt in Delaware without a valid state license. The state also prohibits taking games more than the specific bag limits, or possession of games taken unlawfully.
  • It is illegal to hunt within a distance of 100 yards away from an occupied building in Delaware. An exception is made to this regulation if the hunter owns the building or has gotten permission from the property owner to hunt within the premises. Also for bow and arrow deer hunting, the required distance a hunter must be from an occupied building is 50 years. Counties like Newcastle require a 200-yard distance from occupied buildings for those hunting with a firearm.
  • It is unlawful to discharge a hunting firearm anywhere less than a 15-yard distance from public roads. It is also a prohibition to shoot a firearm across a public road.
  • It is a prohibition to trespass on private lands and properties with a firearm or a trap without obtaining permission from the landowner. It does not matter if the land has a post prohibiting the use of firearms or not.
  • It is a prohibition to destroy any lair, den, or nest for wildlife or game animals and birds.
  • It is illegal to make use of artificial light in wildlife for hunting games. This prohibition also covers light from vehicles.
  • You are not allowed to make use of devices that allow vision at night or infrared devices during Delaware hunting.

Firearms and Archery Regulations

  • You may not possess a loaded firearm or cocked crossbow in or on a motor vehicle while hunting in Delaware.
  • It is a prohibition to transport muzzleloader firearms when there is a charge in its barrel. An exception to this regulation is made if the firearm primer or cap has been removed or if the firearm is in an enclosed case.
  • It is unlawful to hunt at night, and the night period for this regulation is defined by 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes prior to sunrise. Exceptions to this regulation are made for the hunting of games like opossum, frigs, and raccoons, with the aid of a handheld light source.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt games with a shotgun that has more than 10 gauge, an automatic firearm that shoots more than once upon pulling the trigger, or a centerfire rifle. Exceptions are made for the hunting of predators like foxes and coyotes with a centerfire rifle.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of a shotgun that contains more than 3 shells for hunting in Delaware. Exceptions are made for the hunting of snow geese.
  • It is a prohibition to take or attempt to take games and wildlife in Delaware with arrows coated with poisons or arrows that have explosive tips.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of a swivel firearm or a punt that cannot be discharged from the shoulder.

Furbearer Hunting Regulations

  • It is a prohibition to use a bait, pen, trap, cage, deadfall, pen, chemical., poison, pitfall, and drug for the taking of games in Delaware. However, exceptions are made for wildlife and games like raccoons, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, etc.
  • It is unlawful to hunt or take muskrats with a dog in Delaware.
  • It is a prohibition to shoot or take muskrats in the state. An exception to this regulation is made for muskrats trapping.

Other Delaware Hunting Regulations include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to sell or trade wildlife and games or parts of their bodies. Exceptions are allowed for those who gain permission from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. If you are a hunter that wants to ship games lawfully taken in the state, you must first obtain a notarized affidavit to prove that the game was taken lawfully. The affidavit also has to include the details of the sender and the number of games that are packed.
  • It is a prohibition to shoot wild birds like owls and hawks. Delaware only approves permitted bird game hunting in the state like sparrows and starlings.
  • It is a prohibition to have live wildlife and game animals in your possession.
  • It is a prohibition to bring live rabbits into Delaware from other states without providing a health certificate.
  • It is a prohibition to allow hunting dogs to run at large. Exceptions are made for private landowners to allow the dog to run from the 1st of October to the 18th of February. The dogs must run only on the owner’s land.
  • It is a prohibition to allow hunting dogs to run at large between the period of sunset and sunrise in any period of the year. Also, hunting dogs in Delaware are required to be registered.
  • It is unlawful to hunt games with baits. The only exception to this is the hunting of deer on lands that are privately owned in the state.
  • It is a prohibition to release swine animals into the wild, charge an amount for hunting swine, or shoot at swine without the required license from the state hunting division.
  • It is a prohibition to obtain deer antlers with traps or any equipment that will remove antlers from the game. You can open carry during hunting in Delaware with either a handgun or a shotgun. However, you cannot open carry during bow hunting in the state.
  • Delaware also has hunter harassment laws. The law states that no one shall deliberately disturb or disrupt a legal hunting activity in the state, and this applies to the taking of aquatic animals such as fishes, frogs, crabs, oysters, etc., and the hunting of games such as birds or wildlife animals.

Delaware Hunting License Permits and Tags

Delaware issues hunting licenses based on residency in the state. There are various types of resident and non-resident licenses in the state. To obtain any of Delaware’s resident licenses, you must have lived in the state for at least a period of 12 months. Also, you must not be a resident of any other state or region of the USA.

Although you may own homes in other states, you must claim residency in only Delaware, and it must be the state for your federal income taxation.

Residents licenses permits and tags issued in Delaware include the following:

Residents Adult Hunting License

This is a hunting license available to residents of Delaware that are within the age of 16 and 64 years old. It costs $39.5.

Resident Junior Hunting License

This license is issued to teenage residents within the age of 13 and 15 that want to hunt in the state. It costs $5.

Resident Guide Hunting License

This license is available for residents of Delaware that are 18 and above and would like to act as hunting guides. It costs $159.50.

Resident Trapping License

Residents of Delaware that want to trap games in the state must buy a trapping license upon completing a Delaware trapping education cost. The age range for this license is between 13 to 64, and it costs $10.

Residents Fur Dealer License

For residents of Delaware that want to deal with furs and pelts on a commercial scale, they will require this license. However, there is an exception with Muskrat furs and pets. It costs $50.

Residents Waterfowl Stamp

This stamp is available for residents of the state that are within the age of 16 and 65 years old. Only those with this stamp will be allowed to hunt waterfowls in the state. It costs $15.

Delaware WMA Waterfowl and Deer Stand Permit

Residents can obtain a combination of Delaware waterfowl and deer hunting permits in Wildlife areas of the state. The permit costs $20.

Resident Hunter’s Choice and Quality Buck Tag

This tag is available for resident hunters and it costs $20.

Antlerless Deer Tags

This tag will allow antlerless deer hunting in Delaware, and it costs $20.

Nonresidents license, permits, and tags issued in the state include the following:

Non-Residents Adult Hunting License

This is an out-of-state Delaware hunting license issued to nonresidents that are 16 years old or more. It costs $199.5.

Non-Residents Junior Hunting License

This license is available for nonresidents that are within the age of 13 and 15. It costs $50.

Non Resident Guide Hunting License

This license is available for nonresidents that want to act as guides in the state. The age requirement for the license is 18 years old or more. It costs $475.

Delaware Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind and Deer Stand Permit

This permit will allow nonresidents holders to hunt both waterfowls and deer in Wildlife management areas of Delaware. It costs $20.

Non-Resident Trapping License

Nonresidents that wish to trap games in Delaware must first pass a trapping education course and purchase this license. It costs $75.

Non-Resident Fur Dealer License

This is an annual license available for nonresidents that wants to venture into commercial fur and pelt business in Delaware. However, there is an exception for muskrat furs and pelts. It costs $475.

Non-Residents Waterfowl Stamp

This stamp is available to nonresidents that want to hunt waterfowl games in the state. The age requirement for this license is 16 years old or more. It costs $15.

Non Residents 3 Days Hunting License

This is a nonresident license valid for just 3 days. It will allow the hunting of small game species and provide a license to hunt waterfowls. It costs $75.

Non-Residents Antlered Deer Dag

Nonresidents that want to capture antlered deer in Delaware need this license. It cost $50.

Non-Residents Additional Antlerless Deer Tag

This tag will allow nonresidents antlerless deer hunting in Delaware, and it costs $20.

Delaware Fishing Licenses Tags and Permits

Fishing license tags and permits available in Delaware include the following:

Delaware General Fishing License

This is the most common fishing license available to residents and non-residents in Delaware. It costs $8.5 for residents and $20 for non-residents.

7 Days Tourists Fishing License

This fishing license is available for only nonresidents in Delaware and tourists in the state. It is available for one week and costs $12.5

Boat Fishing License for

This Delaware fishing license is available for residents and non-residents of the state. It costs $40 for 20ft and $50 for more than 20ft for both residents and non-residents of the state.

Head Boat Fishing License

This license will allow the holder to fish from a head boat. It costs $300 for residents and $600 for nonresidents.

Charter Boat Fishing License

This license allows holders to fish from a chartered boat. It costs $150 for residents and $300 for non-residents.

Guide Fishing License

A guide fishing license will allow a holder to be in control and act as a guide during a fishing session. It costs $100 for residents and $300 for non-residents.

Young Angler Trout Stamp

This stamp allows teenagers between the age of 12 and 15 years old to mount a trout while fishing. It costs $2.1 for residents and $6.2 for non-residents.

Adult Trout Stamp

This stamp allows adults between the age of 16 and 64 years old to mount a trout while fishing. It costs $4.8 for residents and $6.2 for non-residents.

Some of the things you should know about fishing in Delaware include the following: You can only fish in Delaware if you have a fishing license issued in the state. Delaware does not have fishing license reciprocity with any other state or region in the United States.

Delaware will not accept any Fisher Identification Number provided by other states or at the federal level. Only Delaware Fisher Identification Number is recognized.

To fish in New Jersey water along Delaware Bay, you must have a New Jersey FIN number.

Delaware Hunting Season 2020/2021

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Connecticut includes the following:

Delaware Deer Hunting Seasons

  • Archery and Crossbow Season (1st of September to 31st of January)
  • Muzzleloader Season (9th of October to 18th of October and 25th of January to 31st of January)
  • Shotgun Season (13th of November to 22nd of November and 16th of January to 24th of January)
  • Handgun Season (2nd of January and 4th of January to 9th of January)
  • Antlerless Season (2nd of October to 4th of October, 19th of October, 23rd of October to 26th of October, 31st of October, and 12th of December to 20th of December)
  • Youth and Disability Hunting Season (7th of November to 8th of November)

During deer antlerless hunting in October, hunters making use of bow and arrow and crossbows may take antlerless bucks. However, it is unlawful to do this in the December antlerless season.

It is legal to make use of handguns in the shotgun deer hunting season and also in the handgun season too. However, hunters are limited to just one firearm during the hunting season, and they can either choose between a shotgun and a handgun. It is unlawful to make use of shotguns and handguns together.

Delaware Turkey Hunting Season

  • Public Land Permit A Season (10th of April to 16th of April)
  • Public Land Permit B Season (17th of April to 23rd of April)
  • Public Land Permit C Season (24th of April to 30th of April)
  • Public Land Permit D Season (1st of May to 8th of May)

Turkey hunting season in Delaware is separated between public and private land hunting permits. In private lands, hunters are permitted to take turkeys throughout the turkey season. However, in public lands, hunters must follow the various dates for turkey hunting.

Delaware Small Game Hunting Season

  • Gray Squirrel Hunting Season (15th of September to 6th of February)
  • Cottontail Rabbit Hunting Season (23rd of November to 27th of February)
  • Groundhogs Hunting Season (1st of July to 30th of June)
  • Pheasant Hunting Season (23rd of November to 6th of February)
  • Quail Hunting Season (23rd of November to 6th of February)

In Delaware, games hunting season, bag limits, and hunting licenses vary from one region of the state to another.

Delaware Wildlife Games and Fish

Games and Wildlife in Delaware include the following:

Delaware Deer Hunting

Deer Hunting in Delaware is quite revered. The game is well-loved by hunters, and deer are one of the most abundant games in the state. In the 2015/16 deer hunting season, 14,681 deer were harvested in Delaware and this stands as the all-time record in any US state deer hunting season.

Delaware Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting in Delaware is becoming more popular. They are valuable to hunters in the state and can be found in various parts of the state. Turkeys in Delaware are estimated to be about 4000.

Delaware Crow Hunting

Crow hunting in Delaware is used by hunters to perfect their wing-shooting skills. Crows are one of the smartest game birds, they have great eyesight and are very difficult to take.

Delaware Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowls hunting in Delaware is common because of the presence of water bodies in the state. Waterfowls are also fond of agricultural lands where they can hunt for feed, and they inhabit these areas. Some of the most common waterfowls hunting in the state are Delaware Duck Hunting and Delaware Goose Hunting.

Delaware Fox Hunting

Red fox are the most common fox species in Delaware. They are difficult to hunt because they are very alert and will most likely spot a hunter before being spotted. They can be hunted, handguns, muzzle loading firearms, shotguns, centerfire rifles, longbows and crossbows.

Coyotes Hunting in Delaware

Like foxes, coyotes are another predator common in Delaware. Coyotes are difficult games to hunt too. They can be hunted, handguns, muzzle loading firearms, shotguns, centerfire rifles, longbows and crossbows.

Delaware Dove Hunting

Dove hunting in Delaware is a popular shooting sport. Doves are evenly dispersed in the state and are quite accessible for hunters.

Delaware Beaver Hunting

Hunters can take beavers with shotguns, recurve and compound bows in Delaware.

Delaware Cottontail Rabbit Hunting

Cottontail Rabbit Hunting in Delaware allows the use of shotguns, recurve, and longbows. Hunters are also required to adhere to the dress code for firearm hunting seasons.

Delaware Groundhog Hunting

You do not need any license, permits, and tags to hunt groundhogs in the state. They are unprotected game species, and you can make use of firearms and archeries to hunt them.

Delaware Quail Hunting

The species of quail available for hunting in Delaware is the bobwhite quail. The game can be hunted with only shotguns and longbows.

Delaware Wildlife Management Areas

Some of the WMA in Delaware include the following:

  • Augustine WA
  • Cedar Swamp WA
  • Woodland Beach WA
  • Kelley Island (part of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge)
  • Little Creek WA
  • Ted Harvey CA
  • Assawoman WA
  • White Clay Creek State Park
  • Blackbird State Forest
  • Woodland Beach WA (except the Lighthouse Island tract)
  • Little Creek WA (portions of)
  • Ted Harvey CA
  • Assawoman WA
  • Prime Hook WA and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (lotteries run through National Wildlife Refuge lottery system)

Delaware Hunting Land for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Delaware include the following:

  • Felton, DE 19962. Kent County, 77.6 ac.
  • Harrington, DE 19952. Kent County, 142 ac.
  • Swamp Rd, Frankford, DE, 19945. Sussex County, 63.15 ac.
  • 2 Mile Road, Harrington, DE, 19952. Kent County, 215.56 ac.
  • 13989 Century Farm Road, Greenwood, DE, 19950. Sussex County, 293 ac.

 



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